Archivi giornalieri: 12/05/2011
A few new details have been revealed about BioWare’s new sequel Mass Effect 3, which unfortunately has now had its launch date pushed back into 2012, due to additional tweaks and gameplay improvements, BioWare still needs to make.
The new details reveal that in mass Effect 3 the squad members will be reduced from 12 down to a more manageable number allowing gamers to become a little closer and develop deeper relationships between the characters. Watch the Mass Effect 3 Debut Trailer after the jump.
“We’re not going to have twelve again but we are going to do more with the characters on your squad including Liara, and Kaidan or Ashley. And we’re bringing everyone back – every main character is in Mass Effect 3 somewhere,” said director Casey Hudson.
BioWare is also looking to make combat within the game a more challenging, with enemy AI being improved and increased to make for more interesting fire fights. Gone are the days when you could huddle into a safe spot and pick your enemies off. Lead gameplay designer Christina Norman explains BioWare’s thoughts on combat positioning:
“We really want to make mobility a factor that plays into combat,” “You’ll always ask yourself, ‘am I in the right position on the battlefield? Where are my enemies? How am I going to get from point A to point B?’ Players should never be walking into these safe places with great cover and stay there for the whole fight. It’s about how you’re going to move through the battlefield as the enemies move through the battlefield, and how they’re reacting to one another and to you.”
Bioware also say the characters appearance with Mass Effect 3 will also be updated, and you can be sure more information will surface about their new game at next month’s E3 conference.
If you are the owner of an older 2009 Mac Pro and have been thinking of upgrading to benefit for an increase in speed and power. You might be interested to know a new firmware has been released that will transform your tired old 2009 Mac Pro into a 12-Core beast.
The newly created firmware by member ‘MacEFIRom’ of the forums on netkas.org, will convert your 2009 Mac Pro into 2010 Mac Pro, complete with support for Westmere CPUs, faster RAM, and audio output via Mini DisplayPorts.
The firmware exploits the way Apple uses to install EFI firmware updates, now allowing older 2009 Mac Pros to accept a firmware updates intended for the 2010 Mac Pros.
The new firmware enables users to then install 32nm Westmere Xeons, including six-core variants used in the high-end 2010 Mac Pro, into their older machine. Single-socket machines can use W-series CPUs, while dual-socket machines will need dual-QPI enabled chips including the E5600 and X5600-series chips. (A source who applied the firmware update told Ars that Westmere CPUs are identified with “B1″ stepping in the identification code.)
Microsoft has launched a new wireless mouse, the Microsoft Mobile Mouse 3500 Artist Edition, and it features some funky designs from five artists from around the world.
The artists who designed the new Microsoft Mobile Mouse 3,500 Artist Edition include Kirra Jamison, Matt Moore, Linn Olofsdotter, Mike Perry and Jonny Wan and there are six different designs to choose from.
The new Artist Edition Mobile Mouse 3500 is based on the original Mobile Mouse 3500, and they feature a small USB receiver and BlueTrack optical tracking, they will go on sale next month for about $30.
The processor on the new Samsung Galaxy S II is pretty powerful in its standard form, it is a dual core 1.2GHz processor, but that wasn’t fast enough for the guys over at the XDA Developers who decided to see what speed they could get out of it.
They managed to overclock the Samsung Galaxy S II processot to 1.504GHz, and it achieved a benchmark score in quadrant of over 4,000 have a look at the video of it in action below.
Mentre si avvicina prepotentemente la data di uscita di inFAMOUS 2, la software Sucker Punch sta cercando di tenere alta la tensione e di invogliare il più possibile gli utenti a pre-ordinare il gioco.
I più fortunati sono senza dubbio tutti i giocatori americani i quali, dipendentemente da dove acquisteranno il gioco, saranno premiati con uno dei tre poteri speciali “dedicati” ad altrettanti importanti retailer a stelle e strisce.
Right on schedule, Panasonic’s gone and made its thinly-veiled Lumix DMC-G3 Micro Four Thirds shooter official. The Micro Four Thirds shooter succeeds the G2with a a 16 megapixel sensor, support for 1080p AVCHD video recording with stereo audio, 4fps burst shooting at full resolution, and an articulating, 3-inch touchscreen that supplants some of the dials adorning the last-gen model. In addition to poking around menus, you can touch that display to focus on your subject, and slide your finger to tweak exposure, white balance, and depth of field — all in all, not unlike how you might interact with a smartphone camera. And, at 11.8 ounces, the aluminum-clad body weighs about ten percent less than its predecessor. Look for it in June for $700 in brown, red, and white — in addition to your garden-variety black. In the market for something more compact? Panny also trotted out the Lumix-FH7, a 16 megapixel point-and-shoot with 4x optical zoom and 720p movie recording. Oodles of photos below with a press release after the break.
Look, we know all this Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich talk can get you down original Galaxy Tab owners. Unfortunately, that’s the risk of being an early adopter. Now chin up, Samsung has just started dribbling out the Gingerbread 2.3.3 update to Italian Tab owners. The update, when it arrives in your location, will be available in Kies as firmware/baseband version P1000XXJQ1/P1000XXJPZ. Those less patient can always jump into the forums of course, and take their chances with a manual download and install. We won’t tell.
Well, it looks like ViewSonic is finally digging its Android tablets out of the Froyo doldrums and, what’s more, it may be first to market with a Honeycomb slate of the seven-inch variety. According to Pocket-lint, the company will debut the Tegra 2-powered ViewPad 7x at Computex later this month. The 7x will supposedly pack WiFi, HSPA+, and an HDMI port while weighing in at a svelte 0.84 pounds. Oh, and it’s got a design on the back that is supposed to make it look “funky”… or something. There’s no word on price but, it’s rumored to hit shelves in June.
We never had much doubt about what Samsung would be showcasing at tonight’s finale event at Google I/O 2011, but now it’s official — the outfit’s first-ever Chrome OS ultraportable is making its debut in San Francisco, and we’ve been fortunate enough to grab a bit of hands-on time. Slated to ship to consumers, businesses and educational institutions on June 15th, the 12.1-inch Series 5 is a strikingly svelte machine, and there’s no doubt that holding a 0.79-inch rig gives us all kinds of chills. The company took a bit of time to play up its “Power Plus” battery technology, lasting up to 8.5 hours with “active use,” or 5 hours of straight video. There’s also a new hitch in the Verizon Wireless data deal — 100MB will be tossed in each month on the 3G model, but contrary to what we’d heard earlier, that ends after two years (rather than lasting for the life of the product).
The hardware feels tremendous — stiff, solid and well appointed, much like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 Limited Edition. It outclasses the other sub-$450 netbooks we’ve seen in both style and rigidity, and while we’ll always have a special place in our heart for the CR-48, it’s pretty clear that this particular unit was in the oven for some while. We’ve hoping to spend some serious time with this guy in the middle of next month, but for now, here’s what we can tell you — the 1280 x 800 display is both crisp and sharp, with shockingly great viewing angles for a machine of this price. The keyboard’s far from cramped, and if you’ve had your doubts on the 12.1-inch form factor, we’re guessing one touch of this would have those running for cover. Oh, and the trackpad? One of the best we’ve felt in the PC universe, and one that we hope crops up elsewhere in the near future. It’s right about on par with the one found on the CR-48 (post update), which is also stellar compared to most netbooks.
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Google I/O is still ongoing and at the session for teaching developers how to build Android apps for Google TV the team has just shown off a quick peek of the new Honeycomb-based UI that will be released later this year. Shown above you can quickly compare it to the original UI to see how different, and hopefully improved it is. The new icon layout should make getting back to live TV a simpler process, while there’s also that large space above for widgets and support for notifications. Developers will be able to run their ADBs on devices later this summer, but prior to that it will have a “Fishtank” program for some devs to take home their internal test units to run apps on now — no hardware modification necessary.
The team also just announced that the source code to the existing Google TV remote app for Android is being open sourced, so anyone who thinks they can do better (it wouldn’t be difficult) can have a crack at building their own. Also available is code for the Anymote Protocol it runs on so developers can make tablet or phone apps that integrate with and control the Google TV — both are linked below. Other features mentioned included support for 3D, and game controllers using Android 3.1′s expanded USB compatibility. There were no product announcements before the session ended, and no word on the rumored and expected ARM base for new products, but the project manager confirmed new product announcements “later this year.” Google TV will need new product announcements if it’s going to receive a boost over other smart TV technology, but the potential of the market and availability of open source code is still providing a tantalizing vision of the promise it’s failed to capitalize on so far.
Android Market may have a lot going for it, but most would surely agree that it could use some improvement when it comes to discovering apps that you aren’t specifically looking for. Thankfully, it seems Google has indeed been aware of those concerns, and it’s now announced five new features that should go so some way towards improving things. Those include some newly revamped top app charts that promise to be “fresher” and country specific, a brand new Editors’ Choice section that highlights apps chosen by Google, a new Top Developers feature that places a special icon next to the name of developers that make the grade (currently more than 150), improved related apps on individual app pages and, last but not least, a new trending apps section that shows the apps growing fastest in terms of daily installs. What’s more, while all of those features are currently exclusive to the web-based version, Google says they’re also “coming soon” to the Android Market on both phones and tablets.
In other Android Market news, Google has also announced that it will be adding support for larger apps — up to 4GB — in June, and it will be giving developers the ability to exclude specific devices to avoid compatibility problems, or make multiple versions of an app available under a single Market listing, complete with aggregated ratings and stats. All that, plus personalized recommendations based on your apps (details on it are still a bit light), and paid app support for an additional 99 countries (coming within the next week or so).
Microsoft hasn’t exactly set the market ablaze with Surface, but Pioneer still wants its share of the extremely limited action. The company’s Surface competitor, the WWS-DT101 Discussion Table, we spotted back in December is finally coming to market this July… in Japan anyway. Up top is a 52-inch, 1920 × 1080, multitouch glass slab powered by a Core i7 processor and 6GB of RAM. On the software side you’re looking at Windows 7 and a proprietary interface called SCHEDA that has the ability to wirelessly pull content from laptops, tablets, smartphones and cameras. It also has a built-in scanner for quickly turning dead tree documents into manipulatable “cards,” and teleconferencing capabilities. There’s no set price, but we expect it fall in the same range as Surface — somewhere between unafforable and unreasonable.
There’s “crazy” and then there’s “craaazy.” Crazy is going swimming five minutes after eating, or wearing white after Labor Day. Craaazy, on the other hand, is Yves “Jetman” Rossy — a Swiss flight fanatic who jetpacked across the Grand Canyon at 190-mph yesterday morning. Rossy’s suicide mission began inside a helicopter hovering some 8,000 feet above the canyon’s floor. After hurling himself out of the chopper, Jetman ignited his four-motor jetpack and, using his body as a rudder, gently steered himself across the abyss. The daredevil proceeded to coast for a full eight minutes at just 200 feet above the canyon ridge before he presumably realized that he was flying above the Grand Canyon and decided to parachute down to the bottom. Rossy completed the flight with his physical health fully intact, though his mental condition remains up for debate. Blast past the break for a video that’ll throw your acrophobia into overdrive.
Rumors told us what, when and even how much to expect, but Google just made it official on stage — Chrome OS netbooks are finally here, and Samsung is leading the way with a ultra-slim 0.79-inch thin machine. This is the Samsung Series 5 ChromeBook, which plays to Google’s new standard “Chromebook” spec –in short means they’ll each come with a dual-core Intel Atom processor and an “all-day” battery, which Google says will provide 8.5 hours of continuous usage here. Samsung’s particular clamshell will have a 12.1-inch, 1280 x 800, 300 nit screen, weigh 3.26 pounds and come with dual-band 802.11 WiFi, optional global 3G, two USB 2.0 ports, an HD webcam and a clickable trackpad that Google tells us has thankfully been revamped since the CR-48. You’ll be able to order one from Amazon or Best Buy beginning June 15th. It’ll cost $429 for the WiFi version and $499 for worldwide 3G — which includes 100MB of free Verizon data per month, just like the CR-48. PR after the break.
Update: Amazon’s Series 5 listing details some additional specs — we’re looking at a dual-core 1.66GHz Intel Atom N570 chip, a 1 megapixel webcam, and a 16GB mSATA solid state drive here, as well as an SDXC card reader, and VGA-out via an “optional” dongle. The press release also mentions a Li-ion battery good for 1,000 recharge cycles, though it doesn’t mention what efficiency will be like after that.
If you asked us to design our ideal Android phone, it might well end up looking like LG’s Optimus Black. The handset that was once known under the codename “B” features a clean, elegant and exceedingly thin exterior, which is garnished with a 4-inch IPS display capable of generating 700 nits of brightness. There’s the usual litany of added features, too, like a 5 megapixel shooter with the ability to record 720p video, a special G-Key for motion controls, and Wi-Fi Direct for peer-to-peer file transfers. Of course, looks and headline features are just the tip of the iceberg that is user experience, so if you want to know about the mountainous whole, join us after the break for a deep dive with LG’s latest Android phone.
Sure, it looks just about like every other Arduino board found at Maker Faire, but this one’s special. How so? It’s Google-branded, and not only that, but Google-endorsed. Shortly after the search giant introduced its Android Open Accessory standard and ADK reference hardware, a smattering of companies were already demonstrating wares created around it. Remote-control robots? Check. Nexus S-controlled gardens? Check. A laughably large Labyrinth? Double check. It’s already clear that the sky’s the limit with this thing, and we’re as eager as anyone to see ‘em start floating out to more developers. Have a look in the gallery for close-ups of the guts, and peek past the break for a video of the aforementioned Xoom-dictated Labyrinth.
Man, Lenovo isn’t even trying to keep the ThinkPad X1 under wraps anymore. The slinky new MacBook Air competitor has just slipped out in a video commercial on the company’s own YouTube channel, where it shows off a keyboard that’s both backlit and spill-resistant, and a Gorilla Glass screen that is apparently girlfriend-proof. See the video after the break and circle May 17th as your acquisition date if you’re after one — that’s when Lenovo promises the X1 will be arriving.
The HTC EVO 3D and LG Optimus 3D just got themselves a new buddy in the three-dee picture-taking arena in the shape of Sharp’s Aquos Phone SH-12C. We know, that name just rolls off the tongue. What’s remarkable about the 12C is that the dual cameras on its back go all the way up to 8 megapixels (to the EVO 3D’s 5), which will be creating quite the tasty workload for the 1.4GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 chip contained within. A qHD (540 x 960) screen resolution also keeps up with HTC’s latest, though the 4.2-inch, 3D-capable display on the Aquos offers more pixel density and less in absolute real estate. Android 2.3, replete with some evident customizations, will serve as the OS, and 720p video recording in 3D will also be available when Sharp launches the 12C in Japan on May 20th. Rest of the world? Well, we can dream about it right now.